How to Create a Dog-Friendly Backyard

Creating a dog-friendly backyard is the best way to keep your pets safe, happy and healthy. In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know.
How to Create a Dog-Friendly Backyard

Last update: 15 February, 2020

For many people, having a backyard or patio is essential if you want to bring a dog into your family. Obviously, it’s important to give animals plenty of space, but creating a dog-friendly backyard isn’t as simple as it might seem. This is something that requires time, and plenty of thorough planning.

It’s not just about creating a nice green area and leaving your dog there. There are always hazards that can be harmful to your dog’s health.

In reality, everything will depend on the owner’s ability to create a space that adapts to their pets’ needs. Making your yard suitable for your dog has its challenges, but with a little time and common sense, it’s possible.

Creating dog-friendly areas

Yards can be filled with all kinds of different elements: trees, flowers, grass, dark corners, and fences. So, it’s important to make sure they don’t pose a danger to your pet.

A dog in the garden.

It’s down to you to choose the right location for everything. Obviously, you can’t move things like trees, but flower beds and fences can be changed and adapted.

The best thing to do is section off a clear, safe part of your yard and furnish it with items that they’ll enjoy playing with.

Creating a dog-friendly backyard – dog houses

Dog houses give dogs shelter in bad weather. However, they also have another important function: giving your dog a place of its own. As such, it’s important to find a suitable location for your dog house, choosing somewhere they can both rest and play.

It’s also a good idea to choose somewhere in direct sunlight. That way, your four-legged friend won’t be so cold in winter, and can sunbathe in the summer.

In addition, you should always place a warm, comfy bed next to their dog house. This will give your pet a comfy place where they can lie in the shade in summer.

Play area

Whether you line it with gravel, sand, or wood chips, creating a little play area is a great way to section off the dog-friendly area of your yard from the rest of the garden. More than simply sectioning off this area, it’s important to encourage your dog to familiarize itself with its new area.

To do this, you’ll need to appeal to their sense of territoriality. One way to do this might be to encourage them to mark their territory in their play area. But the best way is undoubtedly to fill it with their favorite toys.

If you consistently play with your dog in that specific area they will start to automatically associate it with positive experiences, and they’ll get into the habit of going there on their own.

Creating a dog-friendly backyard – choosing the right plants

Having a dog-friendly backyard and beautiful flowers is possible, as long as you plan it out carefully. The most important thing is to make sure not to plant any species that may be toxic or poisonous to your pets.

Azaleas and oleander are dangerous to dogs. Similarly, you’ll have to avoid trees such as cherry, walnut and almond, as well as those that produce fruit with seeds. On the other hand, incorporating grassy areas will give your dog a handy place to relieve itself.

For those looking to plant flowers, it’s also best to avoid those with thorns. To help prevent any accidents or injuries, we would recommend planting small flower beds near the entrance of your home.

A chocolate labrador puppy.

Where should your dog go to the bathroom?

As any keen gardener will know, dog urine “burns” grass. To avoid this, the best thing to do is water any of the affected areas regularly with a hose. Another solution is to use a little fertilizer to balance the pH of the soil.

Ideally, you should try to encourage your pets to do their business in a secluded corner of your yard. If you can encourage them to go in just one place, it will be easier to control and water the area.

It’s actually much better for your dog to go to the toilet in your yard, rather than out in the street. If you have a large dog, however, it can be a bit more of a hassle. You may even want to buy a shovel.

In conclusion, creating a dog-friendly backyard is a great idea, but does require a certain level of care and dedication. The best thing to do is study the area you have to work with, and try to generate a positive, dynamic space for your pet. Of course, you need to avoid sharp, rusty and dangerous objects, and be sure to maintain your yard carefully.

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